THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
September 25, 2016
ericmargolis.com

Beware the Kashmir Volcano

by Eric Margolis

The divided south Asian mountain state of Kashmir is like a volcano: forgotten when quiescent, but terrifying when it comes alive.

After the first India-Pakistan War in 1947, in which the British Indian Raj was divided into Hindu and Muslim-dominated states, India ended up with two-thirds of the formerly independent mountain state of Kashmir, and the new state of Pakistan with a scrubby, poor third known as Azad Kashmir.

Rebellion and attempts at secession have flared ever since in Indian-ruled Kashmir which has a restive Muslim majority, and minorities of Sikhs and Hindus. In fact, the Kashmir conflict is now the world's oldest major crisis. The UN's calls for a plebiscite to determine Kashmir's future have been ignored by India.

A week ago, Kashmiri militants attacked an Indian Army brigade base at Uri that sits near the 1948-49 cease-fire line known as the Line Of Control (LOC). Seventeen Indian regular soldiers died along with four militants. New Delhi rushed 10,000 soldiers to Kashmir, boosting Indian military strength in the mountain state to over 500,000 men.

It is a grave mistake for the world to ignore Kashmir. My first book, "War at the Top of the World," explored the Kashmir crisis and Indian-Pakistani-Chinese-Tibetan rivalries in the Karakoram and Himalaya mountain ranges ( a work inspired by my talks with the Dalai Lama). A decade ago I called Kashmir the 'world's most dangerous crisis.' It remains so today. . . .

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Eric Margolis, "The Scenario For Nuclear War 1999," Toronto Sun, November 8, 1998

Arundhati Roy, "Freedom Is The Only Thing The Kashmiri Wants," Outlook India, September 1, 2008

Syed Saleem Shahzad, "Al-Qaeda Aims To Cash In On Kashmir," Asia Times, July 13, 2010

S. Amjad Hussain, "Smartest way out of Kashmir crisis may be independence offer," toledoblade.com, September 12, 2016

[Nyla Ali Khan knows each of these Kashmirs. Born and raised there, educated in Delhi, India and Norman, Oklahoma, granddaughter of Sheikh Abdullah, first premier of Kashmir, author of four books and now a Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma, Nyla Ali Khan understands her nation and has a vision for its future.

"Why is Kashmir's struggle important to Americans?" I asked her. "Kashmir's struggles shine a spotlight on the quest of all people, everywhere, who seek justice, who value democracy, who believe that people have a right to security and sustenance and freedom.--Camille Landry, "Creating common ground: Conflict in Kashmir mirrors universal issues," reddirtreport.com, September 29, 20016]

[Bangladesh followed Afghanistan and Bhutan in boycotting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad next month. Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal followed suit leading to the total isolation of Pakistan among SAARC nations.--Syed Tashfin Chowdhury, "Dhaka to back India if war breaks out," atimes.com, October 10, 20016]

[India ignored the fact that the New Delhi-based South Asia terrorism portal (www.satp.org) had produced figures showing that during the years 2003-2016, . . . India had lost 26,882 lives (civilians: 9640, security forces: 4249, terrorists: 12 993) and that Pakistan had lost 61,148 lives (civilians: 21,389, security forces: 6,564, terrorists: 33,195) from terrorist attacks. Further, the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen wars in Afghanistan (1979-1989) led by the US, had led to influx of 25,000 foreign jihadists into Afghanistan and the entry of about seven million Afghan refugees into Pakistan.--Kadayam Subramanian, "Indian media fuels jingoism after 'surgical' Pakistan strike," atimes.com, October 28, 20016]

Nyla Ali Khan, "War and Peace: The ramification of India and Pakistan climbing the ladder of nuclear proliferation is a tottering stability," reddirtreport.com, December 5, 20016

[Pakistan to deploy low-yield tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons and to give permission for local commanders to decide when to use them.--Conn Hallinan, "A Global Nuclear Winter: Avoiding the Unthinkable in India and Pakistan," fpif.org, December 8, 20016]

"Kashmir: Born To Fight," Al Jazeera, February 9, 2017

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